Will A Full Farm Bill Succeed in 2013?
By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
It’s looking like state lawmakers in the House won’t be attaching a long-term extension of U.S. farm policy to any deal that will take effect in the New Year.
Farm-state lawmakers are back to the drawing board and are scheduled to start drafting the new bill on Feb. 27. The Farm Bill will set farm policy for the next five years and expired Sept. 30 of this year.
While the urgency of the bill can’t go unnoticed, late February is the earliest that this process can begin. Some farm-state lawmakers had been pushing to get the Farm Bill included in a larger deal known as the “fiscal cliff” that would put a stop to a $600 billion tax increase and spending cuts that are scheduled to take effect in Jan 2013. The House speaker is against including the farm bill in budget talks so the dynamics have changed.
The House Agriculture Committee approached the Farm Bill late this summer, which was a month after the Senate passed its version. Both bills have a steep cost hovering over the $1 trillion mark if scored over a 10-year period.
The Senate is considering adding funds for livestock farmers who have been heavily impacted by the drought in a bill which would also address relief for damages done by hurricane Sandy. The work on this piece of legislation is scheduled to be completed this week.